Oman and Saudi Arabia start study for rail freight connection
Oman and Saudi Arabia are collaborating to create a railway line from Duqm, in western Oman with the Saudi capital Riyadh. The line would cross the two countries near Ibri. This new railway connection is supposed to serve the future economic zone that the two countries want to build in Al Dhahirah, near Ibri.
The Omani Undersecretary for Transport, Khamis Al Shammakhi, claimed that the two parties are currently studying the construction of this railway link, as was mentioned by the Muscat Daily. Al Shammakhi highlighted that this line would be significantly more useful for freight transport rather than passengers.
Oman’s big plans for a national railway
In order to create a national railway network, the Omany Ministry of Transport founded Oman Rail in June 2014. The intentions of this initiative are to have Oman join the so-called Gulf Railway, which aims at connecting all six Gulf Cooperation Council member states. The six countries are Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman.
One of the first projects proposed by Oman Rail is to create a link the port of Sohar, on the Omani northern coast to Al Buraimi, on the border with the UAE. This new line will therefore create a connection between Oman and Abu Dhabi. For this project, the two countries created a new entity, the Oman-Etihad Railway at the end of September 2022. The expected cost for this project is estimated at 3 billion euros.